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How companies can properly conduct criminal background checks on workers and potential hires

Employers caught between concern about workers’ and customers’ safety and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s focus on the disparate effect on minorities

  1. Identify & Analyze

    Complying with EEOC requirements

  2. Evaluate & Implement

    Policies that guarantee worker and client safety

  3. Monitor & Adjust

    Conducting effective background checks

Last week's Washington Navy Yard shooting highlights the delicate balance employers face in protecting their employees and customers while avoiding government scrutiny for potentially violating individuals' rights. ›› More


Employers are struggling to ensure their workers' and customers' safety yet comply with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission policy on criminal background checks that legal experts say is vague and onerous. ›› More


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed lawsuits against units of BMW Group and Dollar General Corp. for their use of criminal background checks, the agency said Tuesday. ›› More


WASHINGTON—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an updated enforcement guidance on employers' use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ›› More


WASHINGTON—Employers may feel they are between a rock and a hard place over how they use arrest and conviction records in employment decisions after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updated enforcement guidance on the issue. ›› More


The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said Thursday it will hold a hearing Dec. 7 on the impact of criminal background checks on minority groups. ›› More



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EEOC vs. Dollar General Corp.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against a subsidiary of Dollar General Corp. alleged the company engaged in ongoing, nationwide race discrimination against black applicants with its criminal background check policy.

EEOC vs. BMW Manufacturing Co.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against BMW Manufacturing Co., claiming its criminal background check policy has an unfair effect on black employees and job applicants.


There are acceptable tools that employers can use to learn information about job candidates and their employees' activities, as well as things employers should avoid learning, speakers said Tuesday during the Professional Liability Underwriting Society's international conference. ›› More


While employers are understandably concerned about attracting an aggressive Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's attention to their criminal background check policies, there are steps they can take to avoid such scrutiny, while still providing some assurance of their workers' and clients' safety. ›› More


A seriously flawed criminal background check process used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is hurting employers as well as their workers, a worker advocacy group said in a report issued Tuesday. ›› More


A city worker can sue her employer for intentional tort after a co-worker with a criminal record raped her while working a night shift, a divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. ›› More



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Court ruling critical of the EEOC

A federal district judge dismissed a case filed by the EEOC, criticizing the statistical evidence presented.


The Texas attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in federal court, seeking a ruling that it is not obligated to follow the agency's criminal background check policy. ›› More


Are criminal background checks in the hiring process discriminatory or simply an unnecessary burden? Employers have to maintain their balance as new laws and requirements in employment practices constantly shift. Attorney Richard B. Cohen helps break down some of the latest changes regarding the use of criminal background checks. ›› More


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must pay a temporary employment agency more than $750,000 in attorneys and expert witness fees in connection with a lawsuit that unjustifiably charged the firm with having a companywide policy of rejecting applicants who are felons in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ›› More


Led by West Virginia, nine state attorneys general have asked the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to reconsider its policy on criminal background checks and dismiss two lawsuits related to the issue. ›› More


Employers are advised not to have a blanket exclusion on hiring people with criminal backgrounds, experts say in response to the Equal Employment Opportunity's guidance on criminal background checks. ›› More


Employers are conducting fewer credit and criminal background checks on prospective employees now compared with two years ago, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. ›› More


STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—Pennsylvania State University announced a new policy that requires final job applicants and third-party employees to undergo criminal background checks before approval of work at the university. ›› More



Editor's Picks: Online Solutions & Resources

EEOC v. Peoplemark Inc.

In a divided opinion, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must pay a temporary agency more than $750,000 in attorneys and expert witness fees.

EEOC guidance on criminal background checks

The EEOC issued guidance for how firms should consider arrest and conviction records of workers and potential hires.